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Schofield dad accused of leaving toddler in hot car ordered to stand trial

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

A Schofield father accused of leaving his his child in for 10 hours in a scorching hot vehicle is asking for a new judge to hear his case.

Zachary Wakeen, 22, faces charges filed Aug. 2 in Marathon County Circuit Court of child neglect and possession of methamphetamine. On Monday, Wakeen appeared for a preliminary hearing, where he was bound over for arraignment and trial.

Officers received a 911 call at 12:11 p.m. Sunday, July 28 requesting an ambulance at a home in the city of Schofield. When they arrived, they discovered a mother holding a young child in her arms. Police say the 2-year-old boy was left in the vehicle from 2 a.m. until about noon.

The boy was strapped into a car seat and the windows were rolled up during the time he spent in the vehicle, police said, while outside temperatures soared to 82 degrees and internal temperatures rose to more than 135 degrees.

The child’s mother was at home and sleeping during the child’s ordeal, police said. When the mother woke at about 11:22 a.m., she did not realize Wakeen was home until she saw him lying on the couch. The couple then ran outside to the vehicle when Wakeen realized what had happened, police said.

When the child arrived at Ascension Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston, doctors determined the boy was in critical condition. He was airlifted to Marshfield Medical Center for treatment.

Circuit Judge Jill Falstad on Aug. 2 ordered Wakeen held on a $50,000 cash bond. Reserve Judge Thomas Caine presided over Monday’s preliminary hearing.

A pretrial conference is set for Sept. 9.

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